3 Difficult But Necessary Financial Questions to Ask After a Terminal Cancer Diagnosis
The emotions involved with a terminal cancer diagnosis can be enormous, but the costs can be overwhelming as well. With that being said, if you?ve just been diagnosed with terminal cancer and are still reeling with emotions, you may want to stop and save this article for a later date. If you think you?re ready to face this difficult time head on and are ready to answer some difficult questions, know that doing so can relieve a great deal of stress for you, and added financial pressures for your family members.
Will Your Family Be Able to Afford Your Funeral?
Thinking about aspects of your own death is never pleasant. Considering your financial options now, though, can ensure that your loved ones are not left struggling financially. With burial insurance, your loved ones will get help with paying for funeral and other end-of-life expenses. The benefits can also be used to pay outstanding bills and loans. It?s wise to have this sort of burial or final expense coverage, especially since funeral costs can exceed $10,000. Another way to ease this immense financial burden during an already emotionally strenuous time for your family is to take the time to plan your funeral. By laying these plans out ahead of time, you can save your family the stress of making hard choices during their time of bereavement, and you can lessen the chance for disagreements among surviving members. Planning your funeral may also be a useful step in helping you and your family come to terms with what may happen in the future.
Will Your Loved Ones Be Able to Pay for Palliative Care?
Funeral costs are not the only expense that should be part of financial planning for the terminally ill. It?s also important to understand hospice care, and the role that these palliative and supportive services will play in the time ahead. While you may currently be planning on using chemotherapy and other treatments to prolong your life, know that planning for hospice care before you need it is a smart choice. The levels of hospice care provided will determine the costs in many cases, so you should spend some time familiarizing yourself with each. For instance, if you are able to receive care in your home, continuous care may come with more expense than routine care. These designations are most important for those covered by Medicare, since Medicare benefits can pay for hospice in most cases. If you are not enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid or insurance can offset care costs as well.
Will Your Family Be Responsible for Any Leftover Debts?
Right now, your primary focus should be to make the most of whatever time you have left with your loved ones. It stands to reason, however, that enjoying that time may be tainted if you?re worried about leaving behind massive debts, such as mortgages, medical bills, or student loans. How these leftover debts impact your family depends on several factors, including your link to loved ones and which lenders you owe. For instance, student loan debt may be completely forgiven after your death if the lender is provided with acceptable proof of death. The collection rules around other types of debt can vary, so your best bet is to speak with each lender or to consult a financial expert, so that you can have the peace of mind of knowing that grieving loved ones won?t be left paying these debts alone.
Being prepared for the costs of your diagnosis is equally as important as being prepared for the emotions that come with the diagnosis. So do your best to take care of the financial planning steps mentioned in this article, but also make sure you get the best care possible during this difficult time. That includes the care you give yourself. As difficult as it may be to think about, preparing for death can provide a sense of peace and calm.